Autonomous Agents as Artistic Collaborators

David Kadish

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


In this paper, I ask whether it is possible to exert creative direction on the emergence of large scale patterns from the actions of autonomous or semi-autonomous actors. As an artist and an engineer, I undertake installations and projects with an intent to create, to make art or innovative structures. At the same time, one of my artistic interests is in ceding a great deal of creative control to a cluster of robotic actors, in the process interrogating the lack of control that we, as a species, exert over the world. Here, I explore this idea in the context of an ongoing project called Inorganisms, in which I invite participants to create a physical body and basic sensory response for an inorganic, electronic organism (an inorganism). When enough inorganisms exist, they will find themselves living together in a space and will have to determine how they relate to one another and the humans that navigate the space as well. My work has implications for how we as a species address planetary-scale challenges and whether we can organize societies to find emergent solutions to complex problems. Behind my artistic interest is the idea that "creation" has no teleological impulse. The creative force from which innovations at large (galactic systems) and small (DNA) scales emerged were happy accidents of physics and chemistry. This raises the fundamental questions that my work explores, interrogating the relationship between the creativity of emergent processes on the micro- and macro- scales and the creative processes of living beings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2016
EventSociety for Literature, Science, and the Arts: 30th Annual Meeting: Creativity - Westin Peachtree Hotel, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 3 Nov 20166 Nov 2016
Conference number: 30


ConferenceSociety for Literature, Science, and the Arts
LocationWestin Peachtree Hotel
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Creative Direction
  • Autonomous Actors
  • Emergence
  • Robotic Art
  • Inorganic Organisms


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